Design Philosophy and Sustainable Development in Challenging Times

2010-04-22

Our home, in a greater sense, is a complex living and breathing organism we call Earth.

In the last centuries, the fabric of life that sustains the ecosystem of which man is a vital part has began to unravel. Current human population of 6 billion, scientists say, is already taxing earth’s resources. Encroachment in the last frontiers of wilderness by industries to feed man’s needs in food, energy, and raw materials has resulted in loss of habitats and death of entire species of animal and plant life.

Now, global warming and climate change due to the vast impact of fossil fuel as source of energy and the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is at our doorstep. What can we do as individuals? As a community?

The Calyx Centre, Innoland Dev. Coporation’s flagship project, is the first green hybrid condominium in Cebu. Located in Asitaown IT Park, it offers a green environment to its buyers as engaged participants in cohabiting the natural world through sustainable development that is not just about us or our needs. We are part of an ecosystem, and we must do our share in sustaining the balance between man and nature.

Greenwise
Green has taken on an entirely whole new meaning in today’s world. Its larger context encompasses our planetary environment. It has come to symbolize a movement to give back to nature what man has taken and destroyed for eons. The most immediate response to the movement that people have easily accepted is a simple resolve to segregate and recycle waste.

We can do more.

We can live in green designed structures for work, play and living. Spaces that allow nature to inspire function and aesthetics while taking advantage of technology; technology that has created materials and systems that work with nature instead of against it.

The Calyx Centre, a hybrid building for work, play and living that will sit on a 2,953 sq.m.. premium lot in the heart of Asiatown IT Park, is going green.

Echoing earth, the residential, office and retail condominium shall be a breathing, living building that allows nature to become part of everyone’s daily life within a contained environment. A community that will strive to respect the larger community linked to earth’s biosphere. Just like the calyx, the outer whorl of leaves that holds and protects the flower at the center, this structure is designed to provide a lifestyle that will sustain and nurture the well-being of the community within.

Living with Nature
In a tropical country like the Philippines, the sun is a potent presence and, therefore, must be integrated in planning buildings. As it travels across the sky, it presents opportunities to harness its power as energy source. Building orientation effectively takes into consideration the sun’s path to create areas of light and shadow with overhead ledges and balconies to cool off spaces.

Rainwater during the rainy season, when channeled to reservoirs is a precious resource that can flush toilets, water plants, and wash cars- entirely possible when a dual water system is installed. Potable water is conserved for human consumption instead of going to waste.

Wind, especially strong in high structures, when allowed to enter corridors and common areas through open channels in the building make air conditioning unnecessary. Operable windows in units give occupants the option to open up and allow wind and light into the interior spaces.

Land that is master planned to incorporate trees, parks and rational use of space to complement life puts it all together in one location. Location that gives access to component needs of man: shopping, banking, entertainment, food and the many services we need in daily life within a secure and safe environment. And church, school, hospital, market just around the corner.

Given the high cost of fuel in financial as well as environmental terms, location that allows you to walk to these places means less carbon footprint. It allows man to rediscover the pleasures of walking, biking, and just taming time so that life is lived more like it should be. No time lost in traffic jams while rushing to and fro. A balanced approach gives us time in our hands for the more important things in life. Time for the family. Time for oneself.

Then of course, technology that enhances life should be enjoyed: Internet access through wifi, equipment that ensures more efficient use of light, water and energy, materials that allow the building to breathe, working with the natural elements rather than against it.

Green is the way of the future. It is the path that assures sustainability that is not just about us and our needs. It is engaging ourselves as cohabitants of this home we call earth. After all, its well-being means a better quality of life for us.

That is what the Calyx Centre is about.